Have you ever felt pain in your knee when walking (especially up or down stairs), getting out of a chair or running? If this sounds like you, it doesn’t have to be!
In the clinic we have been seeing lots of patients complaining of knee pain….. with the end of the winter sports and ski season and the recent half marathon and other running events, there’s no wonder why! As the weather warms up and we’re all more active, you may notice an increase of aches and pains- but let’s make sure knee pain isn’t one of them!
Knee pain is a complaint we hear every day, and most commonly people complain of pain at the front of the knee (around the knee cap). The most likely source of this pain is known as Patello-femoral pain (PFP).
“Patellofemoral pain affects 20% of the Australian general population, and early diagnosis and treatment is essential in a faster and less painful recover. Left untreated, symptoms will progressively worsen. You NEED to do something today”.
PFP can affect people of all ages, although it is more common in women. It will usually have a gradual onset, beginning with pain during activities such as walking up and down stairs, squats, lunges, skiing and running.
What causes PFP? I’m glad you asked. Whilst the symptoms may come on quickly, the causes of PFP don’t – they’ve been brewing for some time. PFP is mainly due to the excessive loading of the patellofemoral joint from poor knee cap alignment which leads to irritation of the structures lying under the knee cap. This may be due to;
- Muscle strength imbalance around the knee
- Muscle length imbalance around the knee
- Poor biomechanics of the lower limb for example flat feet
So what could YOU be doing that is causing PFP?
- Increasing your exercise training to quickly – this could be training too often, or increasing the intensity too fast.
- Exercising or walking regularly without stretching or foam rolling
- Wearing footwear with poor support
Would you like to stop PFP once and for all? Our 3 top tips to avoid pain and get back to doing what you love are:
- Stretching and foam rolling muscles around the knee before and after exercise
- Strengthening stabilising muscles of the knee – Quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors and gluteal muscles
- Support footwear – ensure your footwear is providing the support your feet need. Your 10 year old joggers aren’t going to cut it any longer!
Our physios are all super active themselves, and have a special interest in treating knee pain. If your symptoms have been present for more than 4 weeks, come and be assessed today!